“Playing in the orchestra builds kids’ self esteem. It improves their listening skills and more,” Waddell said.
In an attempt to keep classical music modern and fun, orchestra teachers rapped about the program and proceeded to play excerpts of songs like “The Pink Panther Theme,” “Under the Sea,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the “James Bond Theme” and the OU fight song. One student, Rishi Mathew, was even selected spontaneously to learn “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and perform it in front of all his classmates.
“I was nervous, but when it was over, I was happy,” Mathew said. “I will think about the orchestra...my favorite instrument was the violin.”
Benson said watching Mathew play was a great opportunity for all of the students to realize they could do it too and that joining the orchestra isn’t so intangible.
Students’ excitement about the orchestra seems to have just begun, as every demonstrated instrument was wildly voted for with waving hand when students were asked to select a favorite instrument.
“Oh no, an orchestra completely full of the bass,” Benson joked as the string bass was declared the winner. But if raised hands are any indication, the orchestra will be full of every instrument and many NPS fifth-graders.
For more information, call NPS fine arts at 366-5870.